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review 2018-10-21 20:06
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
Transcription: A Novel - Kate Atkinson

A special thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 she is enlisted to transcribe the conversations that take place in a bugged flat between Godfrey Toby, an MI5 agent, and a group of suspected fascist sympathizers.  At first the work seems dull, but then it becomes terrifying as Juliet is thrust into a world of secrets and code.  After the war ends, she thinks that her service is over that the event she transcribed are left in the past.

 

Fast forward ten years and Juliet is now a radio producer with the BBC.  Even though her past seems like a lifetime ago and Juliet has resigned herself to her more mundane life and work, she is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past.  Haunted by these relationships and her actions, Juliet cannot escape from the repercussions of her work.  Left with no choice, she is pulled back into a life of espionage.  

 

Atkinson is such a gifted writer.  I had the privilege of attending an event where she spoke at length about her research and writing process for Transcription.  Her writing is rare in that she brings humour to her narrative in such a subtle way.  Much of this is accomplished through Juliet trying to make sense of what she is listening to as well as through her naiveté.  Juliet is Atkinson's vehicle to make the events fictional.  She is "the girl".  Atkinson has described her as being "a smart character, but with an incredibly active imagination".  

 

In typical Atkinson fashion, the reader is treated to shifts in time and plot (things don't unfold sequentially).  You can certainly tell that she has done her research, the story that emerges is nothing short of original and extraordinary, and I encourage you to read the author's notes.  Transcription is a layered work of deception and consequences and a thrilling literary read.  

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review 2018-10-21 05:40
Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7) by Kelly Jamieson
Big Stick - Kelly Jamieson

 

 

Jamieson is known for her stories of fiesty women and the men who charm them. What makes Big Stick stand out is that Jodie and Nick give readers a look at both sides of the coin. He's the man that has it all. She's a woman struggling to make a better life for herself and her child. Jodie is ever the optimist. Nick is a victim of his own celebrity. This is a pairing that shouldn't work, yet totally does. A situation of convenience takes an unexpected turn when hearts become involved. Jamieson proves she can do no wrong when it comes to romance. Her language is one that only the heart can understand and mine is well versed in perfection.

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review 2018-10-21 05:22
A Brand New Ending (Stay, #2) by Jennifer Probst
A Brand New Ending - Jennifer Probst

 

 

First love equals heartache for two star -crossed dreamers. Will fate give them the chance to finally get it right? Kyle and Ophelia were a love song interrupted. Life had other plans. Kyle made his dream a reality. Ophelia lost hers somewhere along the way. Haunted by the love that was, Kyle wants a second chance. Can Ophelia open her heart to the possibility that happily ever after still exists? A Brand New Ending is a tale of two lost hearts trying to make their way home. Probst brings the allure of romance to an emotional story. How do you heal a broken heart? Pick up a Probst novel and let the healing began.

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review 2018-10-18 18:47
Review: Everless
Everless - Sara Holland

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

This is one of the most original fantasies I have come across in a while. While I can’t say I was that invested in any of the characters, I found the actual story itself and the world building totally captivating and the combination of the two made it book impossible to put down. In this fantasy time is a commodity that can be bought and sold.

 

The world building was               quite complicated, or at least for me, the combination of magic and science and the whole buying and selling time. The setting was a small, town on the edge of a huge estate where the wealthiest family in the district ruled over everything.

 

The heroine Jules used to live at the estate where her father was a revered blacksmith, but a secret caused them to flee in the middle of the night and now they are barely eeking out a living in a tiny cottage on the edge of the forest. Her father is in debt and sick. So Jules hatches a plan to sell her own time and repay his debts

 

Yet she finds herself presented with an opportunity for employment at the estate, Everless, where she once lived. Seizing the moment, Jules makes herself a plan to save her father. She worms her way into employment at Everless.

 

Jules is one of the brighter YA heroines, she’s smart and thinks things through. She plans and doesn’t seem to act recklessly when things don’t go according to plan. She was a little bit two dimensional but likeable enough. Back at Everless while in a different capacity than she was previously, she’s of course flooded with memories of her time back then, and the mystery of why she and her father fled in the first place. And she has to deal with the two sons of the Lord of Everless. One of whom was a great friend and played with her when they were children, who has grown up to be devastatingly handsome and quite the ladies man. He’s engaged to the Queen’s daughter. And his brother – who was a mean bully.

 

The plot gets quite twisty, there’s a legend on how time came to be used as a commodity, a vicious queen who everyone’s terrified of visiting Everless, Jules discovers she has time letting abilities that are beyond normal, a hidden vault where Jules believes she will get some of the answers she seeks, there are plenty of secrets – including a mystery to solve about Jules’s deceased mother, and some things her father neglected to tell her. And people who turn out to be nothing like you thought they were.

 

I read this quite some time ago so I can’t remember all the details. Just that it was a really good one, quite different and I liked it. I’ve already pre ordered the next one.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Hatchette Children’s Group for the review copy.

 

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review 2018-10-18 17:08
Ten Drugs by Thomas Hager
Ten Drugs: How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine - Thomas Hager

TITLE:   Ten Drugs:  How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine
 

AUTHOR:  Thomas Hager

 

EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE:  5 March 2019

 

FORMAT:  ARC ebook

 

ISBN-13: 978-1-4197-3440-3

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NOTE: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.

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DESCRIPTION:

"Behind every landmark drug is a story. It could be an oddball researcher’s genius insight, a catalyzing moment in geopolitical history, a new breakthrough technology, or an unexpected but welcome side effect discovered during clinical trials. Piece together these stories, as Thomas Hager does in this remarkable, century-spanning history, and you can trace the evolution of our culture and the practice of medicine. 

​Beginning with opium, the “joy plant,” which has been used for 10,000 years, Hager tells a captivating story of medicine. His subjects include the largely forgotten female pioneer who introduced smallpox inoculation to Britain, the infamous knockout drops, the first antibiotic, which saved countless lives, the first antipsychotic, which helped empty public mental hospitals, Viagra, statins, and the new frontier of monoclonal antibodies. This is a deep, wide-ranging, and wildly entertaining book.
"

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REVIEW:

 

Ten Drugs is an entertaining, yet informative look at a number of drugs that have shaped medical history and today's world.  This isn't a scholarly history of the pharmaceutical industry, but rather a collection of chapters about a variety of drugs that have shaped medical history.  This book is a nicely written (and fascinating) introduction to the history of drug discovery and medicine, as well as providing information on how the pharmaceutical industry evolved and functions.  Each chapter deals with a specific group of drugs and are bound together by common themes such as drug evolution, growth of the pharmaceutical industry, changing public attitudes and changes in medical practices and laws.  Chapters are devoted to the following topics:  opium; smallpox and vaccinations; chloral hydrate (the first totally synthetic drug and original date rape drug); herion, opiates and addiction; the not so "magic bullet" antibiotics; antipsychotics; lifestyle drugs, viagra, and birthcontrol; opioids; statins; and monoclonal antibodies.  The book concludes with a look at the future of drugs, with personalized and digitized medicine.

Hager states that this book is aimed at people who know a little about drugs and want to learn more.  In this regard, Hager has succeeded in writing a book that is (in my opinion) accessible, entertaining, informative and interesting, to the general public. I particularly appreciated the author's (mostly) objective and clear writing style.

 

 

 

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